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Fund-hit Chandigarh admin splurges Rs 1.1 crore on renovating 8 guest house rooms

President Ram Nath Kovind, vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and 26 governors from different states will be visiting the city for the two-day event in May.

punjab Updated: Mar 21, 2018 09:57 IST
Hillary Victor 
Hillary Victor 
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh admin,Rs 1 crore on renovation,Chandigarh guest house
Renovation work on at the UT Guest House in Chandigarh on Tuesday. (Karun Sharma/HT)

How efficient has the UT administration been in managing its budget? Facing a severe funds crunch it is now splashing out Rs 1.1 crore on renovating eight rooms of the UT guest house for the 49th conference of governors in May. President Ram Nath Kovind, vice-president Venkaiah Naidu, prime minister Narendra Modi and 26 governors from different states will be visiting the city for the two-day event.

The engineering department of the UT administration will be renovating five rooms on the first floor and three rooms on the second at a cost of around Rs 13.5 lakh for each room.Floor tiles, glass and furniture in the rooms will be changed.

For the 2018-19 fiscal year, Chandigarh was allocated Rs 4,084.83 crore by the Centre against its demand of Rs 5,481.14 crore . The difference between demand and allocation stands at Rs 1,396.31 crore and the administration has already listed projects which will be affected due to shortage of funds. These include grants of the municipal corporation, wages of different departments, machinery and equipment and land acquisition.

The governors’ conference, which is usually held at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi, has been shifted to Chandigarh after PM Modi expressed his desire to hold the event in the city. (Karun Sharma/HT)

Giving details of the renovation, a senior officer of the engineering department said, “The guest house was built in 1972 and now when we are hosting VVIPs, we should renovate the rooms” On asking, why so much money is being spent on each room, he said, “We are completely renovating the rooms.”

According to RTI activist, RK Garg, however, “It is a total waste of money as VVIPs are coming for just two days. A renovation cost of Rs 1.1 crore is too much.The UT engineering department does not have funds to renovate the government houses, which are crying for attention for the past several years.”

The administration also plans to demolish the boundary wall of the guest house with the Punjab and Haryana Raj Bhawans for the event.

The governors’ conference, which is usually held at Rashtrapati Bhawan, Delhi, has been shifted to Chandigarh after PM Modi expressed his desire to hold the event in the city.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 09:55 IST